Seeking the people behind the posters

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16 October 2014
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Think of the Second World War propaganda machine, and it can seem a very large and impersonal concern. But consider the artwork,

Think of the Second World War propaganda machine, and it can seem a very large and impersonal concern. But consider the artwork, particularly the photographic images and posters that were created to help encourage support for the British war effort, and the faces we see peering back at us from across the decades are those of real people - our ancestors. But who precisely are we seeing?

Now, as family historians, we're certainly not happy to settle for the broadbrush approach to history - we want to know the details exactly. Yes - the hard and fast facts of names, dates and places never lose their appeal.

With the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War upon us, while many of those who lived through those years are still around to inform us, let's do our best to find out these people.

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Perhaps you were one of the children featured in a WW2 propaganda photo or poster? Perhaps you were a cheery housewife helping with the make-do-and-message? Or the victim of an enemy bombing raid? Not all propaganda was upbeat - just as we see images on the news of injured children tucked up in hospital beds to tug at heart-strings today, so it was in the war-torn Britain of the Forties. So, if you were the subject of a WW2 poster or photo, or perhaps one of your family members was, we would love to hear from you.

In our October issue we ran an article on WW2 propaganda posters by Home Front historian John Leete, so please either get in touch directly with John (email [email protected]), or via the magazine (email Helen Tovey [email protected]). Click here to read John's fascinating article.